LA COVID-19 spill hits elderly, people of color extra hard

The December boom in COVID-19 spread widely throughout Los Angeles County, touching more lives than ever before, and making the virus more likely to be exposed.

New daily cases have affected levels that are hard to fathom, including one day a week, when more than 20,000 new COVID cases were reported in the county. An estimated one in 80 people in LA County are now infectious with the virus; This is much worse than late September, when scientists calculated that one in 880 county residents were infectious.

The latest reminder of the spread came on Thursday, when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said his 9-year-old daughter Maya’s test was positive. Both Garcetti and his wife tested negative, he said.

Garcetti said he did not know how his daughter was infected. “We have not adulterated the houses,” he said. “There is no behavior that she is engaged in it, does not strictly follow the protocol of our health authorities.”

But there is also a serious pattern for proliferation, in which parts of the county are being snatched up in relentless ways.

The latest boom is hitting older people and people of color very hard.

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned that skilled nursing facilities are starting to increase the weekly death toll, although it has not reached the initial level of the epidemic.

And, while the mortality rate among white residents remains constant – one to two per 100,000 white residents per day – the mortality rate of Latino, Black and Asian residents is increasing. In Latin residents over the past four weeks, for example, the death rate has increased from 1.4 deaths per 100,000 Latin residents to 4.5 daily deaths per 100,000.

Latino communities are at greater risk for the disease for several reasons. Members are essential workers, who must go to retail stores, manufacturing plants, and other sites rather than work from home, increasing their chances of coming into contact with an infected person. Some Latino neighborhoods are more densely populated, making it easier for the virus to spread.

Among Black residents, the death toll has jumped from one death per 100,000. Black residents account for more than three deaths per 100,000.

And among Asian residents, the death rate has risen from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 population to 100,000 per three deaths.

A growing number is taking a toll. Availability of intensive care unit beds throughout Southern California hit 0% on Thursday, and officials warned that if coronovirus continues to spread uncontrollably, conditions in hospitals could worsen further.

California is now forecasting an average of 203 COVID-19 deaths a day over a seven-day period, and 35,200 cases a day are reported – both records, and quadrupling the numbers from mid-November.

Officials said young adults are spreading the virus the most, but it is the oldest adults who are dying at the highest rates when they are infected.

“It is a preventable tragedy, because the most serious disease that comes from COVID-19 can be protected by everyone when we cover our face, keep our distance, and bar- The bars wash hands and avoid getting into contact with non-household members, ”Ferrer said. .

Much of the current boom is believed to be associated with Thanksgiving gatherings that led to the major spread of COVID. Authorities now hope to avoid repeating it as the holidays approach at the end of the year.

Orange County Health Officer and Director of Health Care Agency Drs. “I’m afraid,” Clayton Chow said on Tuesday. “I have never felt so scared of Christmas and New Year in my life as I have now, because … I can’t imagine what it would be like after the holiday if people weren’t listening, if People are not coercing, if people are disobeying and uniting. “

If more super-spreader events occur on those holidays, the effect will likely be felt disproportionately.

This is because people living in the most affected areas of LA County are also more likely to die from COVID-19.

“The death rate among people living in areas with the fewest resources is now four times that of people living in areas with the most resources,” Ferrer said. “And unfortunately, this gap is also widening.”

“The widening gaps are stark reminders that many of our essential employees are black and brown, and not many are able to do telework or stay at home,” Ferrer said. “Many do jobs at low pay, and many live in under-served neighborhoods.”

Ferrer asked businesses from COVID-19 to fully enforce safety regulations to protect workers, including providing personal protective equipment and following infection control measures.

“And we need every resident to protect our essential workers by playing by the rules. It means always covering one face and keeping distance from others, ”said Ferrer.

Violations can be reported anonymously at workplaces at (888) 700-9995.

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